The stability of air bubbles in fresh concrete can have a profound influence of the potential durability of the system, because excessive losses during placement and consolidation can compromise the ability of the mixture to resist freezing and thawing. The void systems developed by some air entraining admixtures (AEAs) could be affected by the presence of some polycarboxylate-based water reducing admixtures (WRAs). The foam drainage test provides a means of measuring the potential stability of air bubbles in a paste. A barrier to acceptance of the test was that there was little investigation of the correlation with field performance.
The work reported here was a limited exercise seeking to observe the stability of a range of currently available AEA/WRA combinations in the foam drainage test; then, to take the best and the worst and observe their stabilities on concrete mixtures in the lab.Based on the data collected, the foam drainage test appears to identify stable combinations of AEA and WRA.
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